Virat Kohli’s India ‘need to win big tournaments’ – Sourav Ganguly


At home, Virat Kohli’s India have established a dominance that has drawn comparisons with the Australian teams led by Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, who were almost invincible at home. They have also become one of the best travelling units, especially with their well-rounded bowling attack finding unprecedented success on the road.

And yet, this India side is yet to win a global title. And that “big tournament” is what former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who will take charge soon as BCCI president, reckons India need to win.

“It [India] is a very good side,” Ganguly said at a media briefing on Tuesday at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) headquarters, housed at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. “My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. I’m not saying they need to win every time. It’s not possible. But we have gone through seven big tournaments without winning one.”

Since MS Dhoni’s India won the 2013 Champions Trophy, India – men and women – have not won any global title at the senior level. India reached the semi-finals in the two men’s ODI World Cups – 2015 and 2019 – as well as the 2016 T20 World Cup, and finished runners-up at the 2014 men’s T20 World Cup and the 2017 Champions Trophy. Alongside, the women lost in the 2017 World Cup final to hosts England, who also beat them in the 2018 T20 World Cup in the semi-finals.

“They are a much better side than that,” Ganguly said. “That is the only area where they need to get themselves ready mentally. Talent is enormous, otherwise they couldn’t have played so well in the [2019] World Cup till the semi-finals. So that’s an issue which Virat needs to address. And that doesn’t happen in the boardroom.”

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Ganguly also hinted that he did not want to interfere with the dressing room and on-field issues. “I cannot decide contribute much on the field because mather jinish mathei bhalo (on-field matters must stay on the field).”

On Tuesday, Ganguly received a rapturous welcome as he arrived in Kolkata, his hometown, first at the airport and then at the CAB, after he was picked as the unanimous choice by several powerful BCCI members as the sole nominee for the president’s position.

Ganguly, only the second cricketer to be a BCCI president since Maharaja of Vizianagaram in 1954, will officially assume the post next week. Ganguly has only about ten months in the job as he will finish six years as an office-bearer next year, following which he will need to undergo a cooling-off period of three years.

After filing his nomination on Monday, Ganguly had stressed that the BCCI was in an “emergency” situation.

He reiterated that on Tuesday, saying that he would try to find solutions for the ongoing issues with the board. “I am happy to get the responsibility to turn it around. That’s what matters: when it is tough people believe that you are good enough to do it,” Ganguly said. “I am here to do a job for everyone and to make Indian cricket clean administration-wise, to get the backroom ready and going in a smooth one along with all the members of the Apex Council and the board and everyone. That’s my job.”



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